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Rivileged women with way too much damn time on their handsThis silly and maddening book talks a lot about a vagina brain connection This confused me but then again my vagina never transmitted messages to me from my cervix so this was obviously new territory for me She tries her best to use some odd combination of science mysticism literature and cultural history to xplain this to her readers She speaks fondly and nauseatingly about the painfully cutesy Goddess Array which she considers to be the set of behaviors a lover uses to arouse his or her partner All of this in the name of making sex pathetically romantic for feminism Science is not xactly my thing Since it s also not Naomi s thing we apparently have one thing in common The only difference is that she will insist on writing about science and while I am not perfect I try my best to avoid talking out of my ass as often as humanly possible So I will keep the talk about science brief so that I don t nd up looking like an idiot and uote a neuroscientist s response to Naomi s belief that dopamine is the ultimate feminist chemical in the female brain If that were true women with Parkinson s could never be feminists because that disease is caused by degeneration of the dopamine neurons If that were true feminists would be campaigning for the legalization of cocaine and crystal meth at least for women because those drugs boost dopamine levelsIn fact if that were true it would mean that the most complimentary thing you could say to a woman would be You sound like you re on crack Naomi Wolf you sound like you re on crack Basically the kind of science Naomi is prone to is looking up the definition of something and then jumping to insane conclusions to fit her cockamamie theories Now that we ve taken care of that we can go on with the rest of this scattered mess of a book Naomi has some serious issues with feminism lately She s got a grudge against second wave feminists Judging by her whining it s probably because they didn t fix Psychic Detective everything for her so that she can stop having to think too hard about this ineuality shit Second wave feminists also didn t tell her the joys of having her boyfriend gaze at her yoni to learn secret truths while she reads Fifty Shades of Grey Nope Naomi had to actually find the time to learn about what she likes sexually while dealing with the reality of an unjust world likeveryone Mary Magdalen Myth and Metaphor else and that was apparently something she felt she shouldn t have to do Another thing Naomi likes to whine about is the so called hook up culture because casual sex makes her feel icky I can see why Casual sex andxperimentation really doesn t fit into her very narrow Goddess vision Naomi s views on sex are Alexander the Great extremely wholesome There s the candles Thexpensive flowers ordered in advance that somehow have to do with The Private Life of the Diary evolution The reservations to the fancy restaurant The kind gentle words The Goddess Array and the Goddess Network For some odd reason she thinks that no other woman has heard of this brand of romance and intimacyven though at this point it s become a clich She threatens men who do not fulfill these reuirements with some pretty harsh words Straight men would do well to ask themselves Do I want to be married to a Goddess or a bitch Unfortunately there is not physiologically much middle ground available for women Naomi you re seriously starting to turn me into a raging bitch with this two dimensional woman whose very fulfillment relies on a man s ability to remember her favorite flowers Another thing about feminism that really upsets her is that it broke the association of heterosexual female sexual awakening with dependency on man They do not acknowledge this imaginary paradox of feminine autonomy coexisting with our feminine need of interdependence She considers this the central paradox of the female condition because of Eros and I consider it the central delusions of her idiotic mind She The Anthology Project (Volume 1) explains that women are just addicted to love in need of a partner because of nature and also because some of her favorite female writers artists and activistsxperienced an increase in creativity and passion because of a sexual awakening Apparently she thinks the sexual Becoming an Academic Writer experimentation of these women are because they acknowledged Naomi s Goddess Array and because they realized that they need the dick because of their ravenous vaginas Someone seriously needs to tell Naomi that creativity and talent are not sexually transmitted diseases that only hetero women can become infected by In case all this candle lighting and reading Anais Nin to your crotchvery morning isn t your thing don t worry she delves into Eastern Philosophy and Tantric sex practices next This is when we re introduced to the vagina whisperers One such individual is Mike Lousada London s very own tantric guru and special snowflake who fancies himself a vagina healer Naomi seems to consider him to be some kind of champion for women and A Land More Kind Than Home especially sexual assault victims because for the Americanuivalent of 150 an hour he will massage the knots out of your vagina say Welcome Goddess to you and heal you sexually Now I understand that we all have to pay the bills but unless he spends his spare time volunteering at rape crisis centers he s ither a fancy sex worker or a rip off artist Perhaps some kind of combination of both He prefers to call himself a sexual healer though and he gets very offended if you don t acknowledge his magic powers But who can blame him This is a man who claims to have seen an image of the Virgin Mary while gazing at the yoni in search of nlightenmentPersonally if some guy just stared at my twat seeking Betting on Fate enlightenment I d be than a little annoyed But my idea of sexual practices that appreciate my vagina are a little different from Naomi s Naomi Wolf needs all this tender loving care though as her vagina is veryasily traumatized I won t Masters of Death even get into the now infamous Cuntini incident that caused her vagina to suffer from writer s block There was another incident on a cruise with some moron friend who can only read Military books because he s an insecure mama s boy who needs to pretend he s in the military to feel like a man because according to him all modern fiction is targeted to women and all that woman y stuff just doesn t interest him I m going to guess this man doesn t read very much orvery time he reads something and comes across a female character he shits himself and gets all pissed off because there is a woman in his book which is beyond his comprehension Everyone knows that women belong in binders Oh and there s sex in these military books And by sex he means There s rape LOL Naomi s response to her friend was to then go to bed weep for all the women vaginally traumatized by those words and then passive aggressively call him out in her book because being the martyred whiny victim apparently makes Naomi s vagina do a happy dance It s than a little insufferable Naomi means well She read a survey once about how Western women reported lower levels of happiness and satisfaction The Spaniards Untouched Bride (Brides of Innocence even though our freedoms have grown over the years And while feminists might well try to tell you that the continuedxistence of ineuality might just have something to do with that Naomi would like you to know that really you just have a sad vagina in an overworked undersexed world The vagina is a gateway to a woman s happiness and to her creative life and if we all just remember that life would just be one never The Chestnut Tree (The Bexham Trilogy ending orgasm no matter what happens This is the part where I d love nothing than to shake some of the loose screws out of Naomi s head Ineuality stillxists no matter how mind blowing Wolf s orgasms are This childish view of Stay empowerment does not address this fact presumably because it makes her vagina too sad to think about Her vapid idea of fantasy land happiness is based on the idea that we should just be sexually dependent on men to keep our unruly yonis satisfied and then maybe write a poem about our vulva All this sad traumatized vagina crap cuddles up a little too close with the idea that male responsibility is dependent on female vulnerability It feeds into patriarchy it isn t helping women and it s really getting on my nerves I will continue to be dissatisfied with gender ineuality and while we re at it all ineuality If happiness for women means just getting fucked dumb deaf and blind I d rather be perpetually pissed off Her journey finally comes to annd with a completely unnecessary description of her family trip to Greece This is when Naomi takes her self indulgent and over privileged prattling and turns that shit up to 11 She really is painfully out of touch if she thinks her mission to help all women was completed with this book when her vagina can afford healing sessions in the UK and then Laws of Ascension Companion excursions to Greece when the mostxciting place my vagina went recently was the drug store to pick up Icy Hot and disposable razors No matter how much information she vomits up from The DIY Music Manual. Randy Chertkow Jason Feehan eastern philosophy literature pretend science and her love of hardcoreye contact and gentle massages during couple arguments this book is not some kind of thought provoking feminist work This is a book about how happy Naomi Wolf is about her sex life and she wants to help you fuck just like her There is nothing wrong with No Mans Daughter enjoying sex or knowing what you like It isn tven bad to write about it But just call it what it is At best this book is self help for privileged heterosexual women who somehow never heard of tantric sex At worst this book is a self important literary festival of misinformation that doesn t just straddle misogyny it dry humps it on the chaise lounge while getting high off all the scented candles Instead of imagining a better world for women or feeling proud to be a woman I imagined that I was Melody on Loan enduring a long winded conversation with a ditzy friend who is just going on and fucking on about her sex life Her boyfriend like a sexual Christopher Columbus discovered all heruipment and finally thought to ask What does this button do my Goddess instead of just reading her poetry and sending flowers that he imagined might look like female genitalia To make it worse she s trying way too hard to be profound and lyrical about it all because she accidentally found Anais Nin s Wikipedia page Her face is one of both joy and concern as she takes my hand in hers She finally stops gushing over her boyfriend and The Toll-Gate explosive orgasms for a moment because this is important She looks me in theye and lets me know that as a newly independent woman she feels it s her duty to tell me that if I just found myself a man who can awaken my creativity I d stop being so you know bitchy Whatever girl This book was like tearing the scab off a freshly healed wound It s been so long since I ve had to deal with the shittiness that is volutionary psychology and then Naomi Wolf comes along and reminds me of just how terrible it is all over againWell let s do thisVagina A New Biography is Wolf s syncretism of Eastern teachings about sex particularly Tantra with Western medicine with a particular focus on the way women in the West regard their vagina It s the fifth book in the Banging Book Club an awesome monthly reads group about sex and sexuality run by Hannah Witton Lucy Moon and Leena Norms I have njoyed all of the previous club reads to one Empire of the Saviours (Chronicles of a Cosmic Warlord, extent or another but I don t think I can say that about Vagina What starts as a promising book about women s relationships with their vaginas kind of like a scientific look at the same ideasxplored from an Ex On The Beach emotional angle in The Vagina Monologuesventually turns into a poor mash up of biological determinism and Good Thinking evolutionary psychology Here s how Vagina went from good to boring to bad to worseI was actually veryxcited to read Vagina for so many reasons I was aware that Wolf has been a source or topic of controversy in recent years but I had genuinely appreciated The Beauty Myth and will stand by the idea that it s a seminal work of feminist scholarship I was also looking forward to learning about vaginas because I don t have one and men don t really learn Death in Mumbai enough about them in school I m always interested in learning about perspectives that are by dint of circumstance inaccessible to me It was with somexhilaration that I proudly read this book in public during my flights home from a work trip as well as in the airport lounge on the layover I wanted people to see a man reading a book called Vagina and if it led to any genuine conversations if I could help people see that there is value in deconstructing stereotypes about gender and what is appropriate knowledge for our genders then cool Indeed my seatmate on my last flight actually asked me about the book after we had already struck up a general conversation However at that point I was only a few chapters in and the book was still good and interesting so I was much positive about it than I feel nowPerhaps Vagina is so promising because of its context Wolf opens with a lengthy anecdote about a reduction in sensation felt as a result of pelvic nerve damage something she Baccarat : La lgende du cristal eventually fixes thanks to medical consultations and surgery Shexpresses her amazement that if she hadn t linked the disappearance of her rosy afterglows with a physical ailment she might not have discovered the problem at all During this period she learned about how the vagina is connected to the brain and it apparently awoke a deeper curiosity in her Hence a biographical look at vaginas I guess And I was totally on board because as The Vagina Monologues asserted a decade before this book our society has a hang up on vaginas They are a taboo subject yet beneath the surface so many of us brim with intense curiosity and fascination And I agree with Wolf that women have too long have been made to feel dirty or ashamed and that many of the modern standards of beauty tell women that their natural vaginas are bad and need to be perfumed made up ven altered to become acceptableAlthough initially unsettled by the title of Part 1 Does the Vagina Have a Consciousness and its implications of far too much mysticism for my taste Wolf s zealous commitment to scientific language and citing research won me over I was learning things about female physiology that I hadn t known And Wolf xplores many of the physical March Violets (Bernie Gunther, explanations for why many women have difficulty achieving orgasm asxpeditiously as men This whole idea of course is hugely parodied and constantly referenced in our comedy men just want uickies women need candlelit dinners and flowers and commitment and then there s some kind of punchline that is almost certainly misogynistic and sometimes also Zoete tranen emasculating We re socialized to see women s needs as unimportant at best and weak or repugnant at worst withoutver really stopping to ask why So I approve of Wolf attempting to uncover some of the science behind these differencesAlas Water Music even in this first part there are moments when I had to pause and blink and maybe do a double take Wolf likes to make a lot of generalizations particularly when it comes to findings about hormone levels She begins to mix science with anecdotesIxperienced some of the thoughts of the uterus myself In 2000 I wrote about how oxytocin had made me gentler conflict averse and basically nicer when I was pregnant My uterus was doing some of my thinking for me in spite of my will and mediating my consciously autonomous consciously assertive feminist brainNow let s be clear I have nothing against anecdotes Interesting stories are the life blood of non fiction What s problematic here is the way Wolf seems to accord anecdotal Revived evidence the same level of privilege as scientificvidence She constantly mentions hundreds of responses she receives from people in response to articles she has written as if this correspondence should have the same weight as lab studiesIt s very Student Research Projects in Calculus easy to do bad science Last Week Tonight with John Oliver very recently did a whole bit on this So a science writer has a duty to her readers to distinguish between reliable and potentially unreliable or flawed studiesWolf doesn t do this She relies a great deal on studies on rats and uses them to draw conclusions about human sexual behaviour and yeah we do tend to study rat brains and then draw conclusions about human brains but at no point does Wolf stop and remind us that hey rats are not humans and maybe there is going on here At one time. Erlynthralling and totally fascinating Vagina A New Biography draws on this set of insights about the mind vagina connection to reveal new information about what women really need and considers what a sexual relationship and a relationship to the self transformed by these insights could look likeExhilarating and groundbreaking Vagina A New Biography combines rigorous science xplained for lay readers with cultural history and deeply personal considerations of the role of female desire in female identity creativity and confidence from interviewees of all walks of life Heralded by Publishers Weekly as one of the best science books of the year it is a provocative.
The Vagina MythJaclyn FriedmanSeptember 11 2012The American Prospecthttpprospectorgarticlevagina myth Naomi Wolf s yoni worship isn t just silly it s dangerousThis summer Michigan state representative Lisa Brown was banned from the House floor when she dared to say the word vagina in a debate about proposed restrictions on abortion Just three weeks ago Todd Akin revealed what many Republicans believe If you get pregnant it can t have been rape It s been a year of politicians trying to force women to have medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds and personhood amendments granting one celled organisms rights than women as long as the cell resides in the woman s uterus If there ver were a cultural moment crying out for an impassioned defense of the vagina it would be now It s beyond unfortunate then that Naomi Wolf s new book Vagina A New Biography is such a failure Vagina A New BiographyBy Naomi Wolf Ecco Press 400 pages 27Wolf is best known for her 1991 text The Beauty Myth but recently has made headlines for claiming that penetrating a sleeping woman represents a model sexual negotiation and saying that rape victims should lose their right to anonymity if they report the crime to authorities She was inspired to write Vagina by a personal medical crisis in which her sexual response was diminished by what turned out to be a mild form of spina bifida Using her intimate journey back to sexual health as the frame of reference the book s core argument is that the vagina and the brain are Love for Imperfect Things essentially one whole system and that the vagina mediates female confidence creativity and transcendence What starts as a biology lesson uicklyvolves into an A Heart of Stone evangelist text On her magical mystery tour of female sexual biology Wolf cherrypicks and misinterprets research to support her conclusion that G spot orgasms are better for women than clitoral orgasms though she seems to also know that the G spot is actually a part of the clitoris and that having as many of these special orgasms as possible is whatnables women to be creative ambitious Taking Instruction (Taboo, emotionally available and spirituallynlightened The rest of the book Language and Linguistics explores the ways that men and lessnlightened feminists have harmed women s ability to have this particular kind of orgasm and offers her recommendations for how of us can Divertimento experience it Her prescription We should all worship the vagina as a goddess and men should be nicer and tender to their women Wolf s big finish is her conclusion that our species original sin was deviating from ourarliest tradition of reverence for the feminine and for female sexuality and that waves of tragedy for women for men and for a now unbalanced now plundering civilization follow from this original alienation Throughout she writes with the fervor and overwrought prose of a would be prophet who believes she has discovered a previously unknown truth that must be shared with the worldMuch ink and many pixels will be spilled about the biological determinism that underpins Wolf s central thesis and for good reason Most people understand that it s insulting to men to suggest that they re helplessly beholden to the impulses of their sex organs or that their character is reliant on their sexual satisfaction It should be no different for women It also makes no sense What of the many women whose spina bifida can t be cured like Wolf s was Does their diminished capacity for Wolf s favorite orgasm really diminish them as people Surely celibates women with abusive partners cisgender men and all manner of people not having spiritually mindblowing high orgasms her term regularly prove themselves capable of remarkable creativity ambition and loveIf Wolf had written a personal memoir called My Vagina this self indulgent tunnel vision could be perhaps Love Is a Fairy Tale excused But she s presenting it instead as a Universal Theory of Women and that s both offensive and dangerousThe book collapses under the weight of a breathtaking narcissism If it doesn t apply to Naomi it doesn txist Despite the title this is a book Promise at Dawn explicitly andxclusively about straight vaginas Lesbians and bisexual women They re a mystery to her beyond the scope of the book Women of color are rarely referenced appearing mostly as victims goddesses or Josephine Baker Women who don t have vaginas and people with vaginas who aren t women Never heard of m Nor does she bother to define key terms like female body female brain or femininity since clearly her understanding of the phrases is universal If Wolf had written a personal memoir called My Vagina this self indulgent tunnel vision could be perhaps xcused But she s presenting it instead as a Universal Theory of Women and that s both offensive and dangerousIn making her case for the vagina as destiny Wolf ignores profound cultural realities She asserts without sarcasm that nowadays women can do whatever they wish sexually and be bad girls with little stigma a fact that would come as a surprise to women of color Sandra Fluke and any female survivor of sexual assault She insists that women who are alienated from their sexuality or unsatisfied with their sex lives lack only male partners with better skills as though misogyny poverty and any number of other structural oppressions don t Bangkok Wakes to Rain exist She draws on ancient cultures to prove that the vagina s right place is as an object of worship though these same cultures also believed the sun revolved around the Earth She sven untroubled by the fact that many of the ancient traditions she cites so credulously valued the vagina for the ways it supposedly benefits men In Taoist sexual texts women were understood to mit medicinal fluids from various parts of their bodies The man s goal for the sake of his own health was to stir the release of these precious fluids Wolf s self absorption also produces terrible journalism She may have had her pelvic nerve cured and her Technicolor orgasms restored but she still suffers from a profound lack of curiosity She is given to sweeping generalizations about gender In a typical passage Wolf asserts that in some senses having to do with consciousness sex for women is a different thing altogether than sex is for men She provides scant vidence for this assertion nor does she consider counterexamples What about intersex people Do women who are sexually attracted to women really have different neurobiology from straight women She s silent on the matter though she s happy to assert that what straight women need is for men to bone them Wolf would have me say make love lest they turn into harpy shrews These are seriously the only two options she provides Straight men would do well to ask themselves Do I want to be married to a Goddess or a bitch Unfortunately there is not physiologically much middle ground Either they are Darkmere extremely well treated sexually orlse they become physically uncomfortable and Et si la maladie n'tait pas un hasard ? emotionally irritable Like a New York Times trend piece she relies heavily on the anecdata of the privileged informally polling her friends students at Oxford and Anaiis Nin to support her pet theories The followingxchange with therapist Nancy Fish needs no context whatsoever as it serves as a template for nearly Den of Shadows (Gamblers Den everyxchange in the book What I am really teasing out is whether your clinical Scraps Of The Untainted Sky experience confirms what is right now just an intuition for me with some science to hint in that direction prompts Wolf Fish replies I definitely think based on my clinicalxperience that what you are saying is very very valid Never is Wolf led down a path that contradicts her The Eric Carle Gift Set expectations Never do twoxperts or two scientific studies have conflicting findings Even her many informal surveys of friends of friends on Facebook turn up no Huguenot Prophecy and Clandestine Worship in the Eighteenth Century examples of anyone whose livedxperience challenges Wolf s worldview Wolf s road to vaginal discovery has only two bumps the medical condition that kicked it off and the occasional man who does or says something anti vagina causing Wolf to have to lay down and have a good cry or suffer months of writers block Women never say anti vagina things in Wolf s world presumably because in her world women are vaginasIt s as if Wolf is Rip Van Winkle having fallen asleep shortly after The Beauty Myth was published in 1991 and only waking up in time to tell us we should all be having sex like she doesIt s no surprise then that Fashion Design Course everyone from antiuitiesxperts to sex scientists have been challenging the rigor of her research My area of Aeralis (The Frost Chronicles, expertise is feminism so I found her review of feminist approaches to sexuality particularly galling It s as if Wolf is Rip Van Winkle having fallen asleep shortly after The Beauty Myth was published in 1991 and only waking up in time to tell us we should all be having sex like she does She seems bizarrely unaware forxample that Natalie Angier wrote Woman An Intimate Geography in 2002 Alternatives Chapter 2 (The Chronos Files; The Shattered Saga even though was a New York Times bestseller and was a finalist for the National Book Award Having devoted anntire chapter to Victorian England s relationship with the vagina she reduces all feminist thought and activism on the subject since the Cincinnati and Other Plays early 90s to one paragraph Instead of citing work like Angier s or other feminist achievements from the last two decades the Riot Grrl movement bell hooks trilogy on love and sexuality Slut Walks and the SisterSong Reproductive Justice Collective she invokes contemporary straw feminists who want to glamorize the clitoris at thexpense of the vagina and insist that all liberated women fuck like men whatever that means Thank goodness Wolf has finally arrived to reveal the truth about our bodies to usUltimately what would Wolf have us believe about our bodies It s hard to tell She claims to want to undo the ways in which women are reduced to their genitals but spends most of her project telling us that as goes the vagina so goes the woman In the first chapter she goes into great detail about the ways different women s neural wiring can result in a wide range of sexual preferences and responses but then spends multiple chapters later in the book credulously uoting Tantra advocates who say things like For some women the lightest touch of a feather can be orgasmic But most women in this culture need a lot of friction based stimulation which suggests that there is loss of sensitivity for them She suggests that we re hardwired to like rape fantasies and rough sex but tells us we shouldn t indulge in them because we ll get addicted and ignore our somehow Speak Out! eually hardwired need for safe tender gentle lovemaking with a committed guy So we re all biologically predisposed to get off differently but if we want friction or kink we re damagedWolf does gesture at some real and urgent issues The pandemic of sexual violence against women around the world the misogynist microagressions that women have to negotiate daily rampant media sexualization that goes along with a deep silent river of female sexual dissatisfaction It s not that I don t share some of Wolf s alarm at the current state of sexual affairs I wrote anntire book to help women reclaim our sexual agency Rape is an ongoing public health crisis that s treated as the status uo as inevitable as the weather Sex ducation in the US is a shameful shambles and we re all in desperate need of accurate and judgment free information about our bodies and our sexual health Meanwhile we live in a deeply sexualized culture in which corporate media politicians and religious leaders constantly tell women and girls that the most important thing about them is what they are or aren t doing with their sexuality This sexualization has real conseuences It can impair girls ability to perform math and logic tasks and xacerbate The collectors encyclopedia of antique marbles eating disorders and depression It creates in all of us whatever our gender unrealistic often negativexpectations about sexuality alienating us from our genuine sexual needs and boundaries Which is The Philosophy of Giambattista Vico exactly why this book is so harmful It s just as sexualizing to sacralize vaginas as it is to demean them Whatever Wolf s intention Vagina is just another billboard telling women and girls that the only thing that matters about us is what s happening down there We get no closer to a freer world when we worship one specific genital configuration or one particular kind of sexualxperience Real sexual liberation will only be achieved when we re fooling around on a genuinely Lone Star Standoff eual playing field About the AuthorJaclyn Friedman is author of What You Really Really Want The Smart Girl s Shame Free Guide to Sex and Safety andditor of Yes Means Yes Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape She is Punishment Of The Cheating Wife executive director of Women Action the Media and a charter member of Counteruo a coalition dedicated to challenging the ways we respond to sexual violence Why does the author feel the need to write a book about the vagina Because as many as 30% of western women report that they get little pleasure from making love Because bad sex is linked to depressionA lot of my readers who are in their twenties their first concern is about porn addictionPornography has speeded up sex so there is a lot less foreplay kissing or going to second or third base The desensitisation of the brain s response to porn is not good for intimacy Yeah that s right I read a book called VaginaNaomi Wolf and I have a complicated relationship The Beauty Myth changed my life when I read it as a teenager But then she broke my political heart when she became pro life after being pregnant Still I feel compelled to read her books based on thatarly and powerful influenceBut this one was a dud She gets two stars instead of one because she s Naomi Wolf but I really didn t think this was a very good book Essentially I felt like she couldn t decide between trying to be scientific or trying to be philosophical about the vagina She would start many chapters or themes with scientific studies and then branch off from there cite some anecdotal More Punishment For His Cheating Wife evidence and then say something like it is too far fetched then toxtrapolate XYZ and ABC about the vagina and then it would devolve into what I often thought was mumbo jumbo She would use science as a launching point for her own wild theories Not that all of them were wrong necessarily it just felt like she was using hard science to try and support mental meandering Why is this book not a must read for Decision everyone who owns a vagina andveryone who does not own a vagina but hopes to have a partner who will share hers The biology is important to Naomi Wolf s argument as is the chemistry but if you don t like that sort of thing ignore it and focus on This is a book that will make you uestion your faith in The View from Alameda Island everything It is not good at all I reallynjoyed Naomi Wolf s new book Vagina A New Biography Of course I would I am a heterosexual male monogamist and a first class flake so I was like a kitten with a bowl of warm milk It puts me in mind of that song from The Sound of Music These Are A Few of My Favorite Things In a way I wish some one When Fox Is a Thousand else beside Wolf had wrote the book then I would not be forced to acknowledge that much of the world thinks this is a silly book and most of the people who think that are women I really like the idea that a woman s vagina and brain are one We men have been accused of thinking with our little heads for centuries so it refreshing to see a feminist make such a claim for women and their vaginas I also like the id Naomi Wolf was very distraught when she noticed that her sex life lost its poetic dimension One night out of desperation she prayed next to the stove In case you were wondering the stove was cold ironwood and completely irrelevant to the content of this book Bargaining with the universe and any deity willing to listen to her plight she promised that if she could be healed she would share thexperience and what she learned from it with 100 Innovations of the Industrial Revolution everyonelse and she would make money off of it She really is self Taken The Anthology entitled narcissistic out of her goddamn mind a woman who seriously needs to get a grip an incredibly selfless woman The universe apparently had nothing important to do that day and made certain to remind Naomi that there are doctors before returning to trivial matters Turns out our poor writer was suffering from numbness due to some messed up vertebrae and needed surgery She can t dance like she used to any but her poetic fucking was restored at last A woman of her word Naomi returned the favor and published a book celebrating the very heterosexual vaginas of An astonishing work of cuttingdge science and cultural history that radically reframes how we understand the vagina and conseuently how we understand women from one of our most respected cultural critics and thinkers Naomi Wolf author of the modern classic The Beauty MythWhen an unexpected medical crisis sends Naomi Wolf on a deeply personal journey to tease out the intersections between sexuality and creativity she discovers much to her own astonishment an increasing body of scientific vidence that suggests that the vagina is not merely flesh but an intrinsic component of the female brain and thus has a fundamental connection to female consciousness itselfUtt.
She cites a study that had nineteen participants without mentioning anything about the possibility of small sample size biasWorse still Wolf compounds her habit of mixing science and anecdotesI conducted informal interviews with groups of women with whom I met both in person and online I told them about the possible ffects of semen and then I asked them to remember back to a relationship in which they had at first religiously used condoms and then had stopped using condoms Same guy same sexual style same scent any differenceI saw looks of shocked recognition cross my interviewees faces Totally different said Julia a graphic designerEmphasis mineWhat No Do not do this Telling people about the The Second Sister effect you want to measure is called confirmation bias and it is a huge no no Entire scientific protocols are designed to avoid this very serious problem Further asking people to remember back is fraught with problems our memories are so very fallible Taken together it should not be surprising that Wolf got the reaction she did It s like telling people most robberies are committed by shifty guys in ball caps right before you ask them if a shifty guy in a ball cap was lurking outside a jewellery store that was robbed Chances are they will remember the guy vividlyven if he didn t Perfect Match (Girl Talk, existThis is is also possibly a case of spurious correlation if the couples had progressed to a point in the relationship where the condoms came off it s likely there were other factors that made the relationship good and that could very well be the cause of the better sexWolf goes on to sayBut I do think it is important to understand what may happen to the female mind when we do take in semen When a man comes in a woman s mouth she may feelnergized when he comes in her vagina it can boost her tenderness and if Meston and Buss are right help levate her moodSeriouslyNaomi Wolf is seriously telling women that semen has brain altering properties and they should get themselves of it In their vaginas In their mouths Just all the semen EverywhereLook it is possible that Wolf is right and semen does have such properties But because of the way she presents these ideas by conflating possibly unreliable scientific studies with anecdotal and unuestionably flawed stories we cannot responsibly accept her conclusion So I m not saying she s wrong about semen or about Tantra or about vaginal pulses I m just saying that her writing undermines the credibility of her xplanations This is not a scientific book it is a heavily opinionated book masuerading as scientific and that is something AHS Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers elsentirelyThat whole semen thing comes from the last chapter in which Wolf dispenses advice for how to pay attention to a woman s sexual needs Some of it is cringe worthy while some of it is sweet and sensible and probably worth remembering Unfortunately Wolf presents this advice as a kind of lessons learned from all this scientific research and I have to take issue with that Science is great at Let’s Call It a Doomsday explaining how things work but it is not a great tool for deciding why we should do things I hatevolutionary psychology so much partly because it is so difficult to distinguish between biological and cultural causes but also because it tends so dangerously towards biological determinism It s true on me level we re all just suishy meat robots But we re suishy meat robots with a diverse cornucopia of cultures and practicesBiological determinism is hugely problematic in the fight for social justice It s a bedrock of arguments to support oppressive practices And Wolf demonstrates surprising support for these ideas and for ideas about gender ssentialism She continually refers to male brains and female brains as if these are concrete things they aren t It is true that there are sex linked differences to the brain but they are far nuanced and complicated than inferred from Wolf s casual use In particular there are pigenetic factors at work Plus neuroplasticity means that cultural influences could potentially affect our brain wiring as well Wolf is at best being irresponsible in failing to lucidate the complexity of the origins of these perceived differences in the brains of men and women A reader could be forgiven for thinking from this book that the differences between the sexes were a settled matter of scientific record rather than the intense source of debate and further study they continue to beI should probably have seen the red flags arlier on In her introduction Wolf casually mentions she is going to ignore LGB Garfield Swallows His Pride (Garfield, experiences because they deserve whole books of their own It was basically a bald faced this is hetero white feminism deal with it and I remember a few alarms going off when I read it but I trudged on In retrospect considering the other problems with this book that statement is so much harmful Firstly notice that Wolf doesn tven mention the T A Prohibido nacer etc Notveryone with a vagina is a woman and not Serafina and the Seven Stars every woman has a vagina but Wolf blithely uses one as synecdoche for the other Secondly claiming you re only going to talk about straight women to keep things simpler isn t just a cop out it s offensive toveryone It further others ueer women setting up heterosexuality as normative and ueerness as deviant something that can be sidelined for later books It might be less obvious but I also don t see this as a great thing for straight women it asserts a rigidity to sexuality and gender identity that does not necessarily Nighthawk (Conard County, exist It s possible to be straight bi gay or ace but it s also possible to locate oneself somewhere outside of in between or in transition between these restrictive categories Wolf seems so intent on liberating the understanding of the vagina but for who Why gatekeepWolf is also super moralistic when it comes to porn She minces no words as she describes the way habituation to porn affects men and women creating impotence While I agree that therelements to porn that are problematic and need to be addressed I just find it so disappointing the Wolf chooses to be utterly polemical here She talks to a bunch of male and at least one female sexual healers or whatever but does she What She Saw (Conard County ever talk to a sex worker To a porn actor To anyone who makes porn orrotic art I kind of feel like they have interesting things to say about vaginas and sex but I guess Wolf wants to discount themSo I guess what disappoints me about Vagina to bottom line this already ridiculously long review thanks for sticking with me if you ve read this far is that it tries to be too many types of book at once It wants to be scientific but it leans on anecdotes and mysticism It wants to be mystical yet it insists on trying to find parallels between the East and the West and I can t speak for Eastern practitioners but I m sure they are very tired of Westerners coming around and borrowing appropriating their Rivals Break (Sharpe Donovan exotic beliefs for other purposes It wants to bempowering yet it carves out a specific category of woman and then speaks only to them There are some really interesting facts in this book and Namen-Und Sach-Register Zum Jahresbericht �ber Die Fortschritte in Der Lehre Von Den Pathogenen Mikroorganismen Umfassend Bacterien, Pilze Und Protozo�n even some good science but these are buried beneath layers of poor journalistic choicesI want to be clear that I m not taking issue with the idea or intent of Vagina just its confused and unsoundxecution However if you read the book and liked it I d be happy to have some civil discourse about it in the comments Or come join us in the Banging Book Club Goodreads group EDITEDI CHANGED MY MIND Naomi Wolf in general and this book in particular have been mired in controversy and showered with praise alternately I find myself somewhere in the middle I see its limitations and problems but don t think its Soft Focus entirely harmful and Wolf herself does try to acknowledge any flaws or biases her and her book may haveOverall I learned some things I m shocked aren t routinely taught to both men and women and am confirmed in my suspicious that the Western mode of thinking and talking about female sexuality biology and chemistry is incredibly limited and often archaic in all the wrong ways However I am disturbed by Wolf s assertion that great sex is the key to a woman s creativity intelligence and sense of self not to diminish the importance of one s sexuality but the idea that if you aren t getting some and not just any some but mind blowing orgasms some then you aren t a fully realised woman obviously raises a lot ofyebrows and uestions and problemsI just wish it was couched as Wolf s own Alien Chastity Belt experience andxploration rather than as if it s devulging some if not universal than at least American heterosexual feminist truth Wolf has understood her body and found sexual fulfillment and that s great for her But it might not apply to all bodies it s a biography of her vagina and a little bit of science on what the average vagina might be But to Faker extend it further than that seems dangerous to me in line with the same sort of narrow thinking that produced Freudian psychoanalysis and female hysteria So now I ve talked myself out of liking it at all This is a difficult review to write I absolutely LOVE reading about sexuality neuroscience tantric practices and perceptions about orgasmic pleasure these are incredibly important topics We carry such burdensome beliefs concerning human sexuality barbaric beliefs that cloud our minds from what is otherwise life affirming bliss we are born judgment free and open unburdened by the labels and divisiveness that so many of us learn throughout life we learn dogma andgo and certainty shallow ideas that prevent us from Lawbreakers Suspense Stories experiencing the divine in ourvery breathI should have loved this book it should be amazingThese are wonderful topics I love where her heart is in wanting to write this book a richer and deeper understanding of both the scientific and spiritual aspects of sexuality so perhaps that s why I felt so disappointed reading this this disappointment climaxed during her visit to the sacred spot massage workshop where she writesI was skeptical still that a night in the hands of a stranger could be so life changing I couldn t imagine doing it myselfAnd then she went home really she went homeCould she seriously not imagine Did she actually lack HIPPO IN THE GARDEN even the imagination to do whatvery woman in the room was doing She then heaped condescending praise on those women somehow oblivious to the fact that Spinal Trauma every person in that room has a better story to tell than Naomi Wolf but in this book you re trapped in Naomi Wolf s judgmentalgo and those beautiful stories of those nameless goddesses perhaps they went to discover transcendent pleasure and bliss those stories are completely ignored left to be told by braver and less judgmental writersShe later makes an appointment with a sexual healer and then systematically refuses to do anything sexual She wants to learn but apparently not at the Shadow (New Species, expense of challenging her cruel judgmental world view Why write a book about what you refuse to learn about what you refuse to doImagine writing a book about cooking while refusing to cook orven at the foods you write aboutShe then refers to this same sexual healer as a whore but you know the good kind like Pretty Woman in reverse She directly invokes the whore with a heart of gold stereotype and seemed cynically skeptical at his audacious and far reaching claims Ironically she remained ignorant of her own far reaching claimsIf you re at all open minded about sexuality or gender roles it s hard not to be continuously insulted while reading this bookMany reviewers have pointed out the problems with her scientific understanding although annoyingly it seems she has the right science but she goes about it with haphazard assumptions and makes a mess of it she stumbles and plods through research papers doing mostly guesswork and badly misrepresenting very aspect of scienceFor The Gathering (Darkness Rising, example she clearly has no understanding of what a control group is but continuously refers to control group where there are no obvious controls or where there wasn tven an MongoDB experimentNaomi you are not a control group a single person can not be a control group that s not what a control group is Those dakinis you interviewed were not a control group those were human beings you were interviewingIn her conclusion she tells the story of seeing a forest fire near Petra while vacationing in Greece While watching the fire she realized that the original sin did not as the Judeo Christian tradition has it originate in human sexuality Our species original sin was in deviating from ourarliest tradition of reverence for the feminine and for female sexualityPerhaps because I was not raised with such silly mythology I don t think of the original sin when I see a forest fireI don t think seriously of original sin Consider our understanding of ourselves this Chastity earth this universe there is knowledge in this world much of it available for free on wikipedia that far transcends such archaic and cruel notions of original sin But to Naomi Wolf there IS an original sin and it will burn down cities in Greece and kill innocents all because we deviated from our reverence for the feminine I ll agree hers is slightly less barbaric than the original sin described in the bible but it s an awful and hateful belief to carry around in ones mindThis is where the reader also has anpiphany that Naomi Wolf is so steeped in her own Judeo Christian social constructs that she really cannot imagine allowing herself a sacred spot massage or Experiential Learning experiencing first hand transcendent orgasmic bliss instead she holds in her mind that humans are suffering under an original sin Now sure she claims that our original sin lies in five thousand years of shaming it I thnk she means the vagina but when she describes ancient tantric practices yoni worship and The Goddess Array I guess those didn txist in the last five thousand years or does she just mean this is a western original sin Or does she just mean this is a silly idea in her head that has no relevance to the beautiful myriad of human sexual Die Neurobiologie des Glücks experienceOccasionally she makes strong assertions without any reference which are completely falseForxamplethe porn industry is now larger than conventional film records books and video combinedYou can Google this the porn industry is smaller than A Final Story: Science, Myth, and Beginnings each of those industries Porn brings in about 14 billion per year whereas conventional film records and books bring in 40 billion 15 billion and 28 billion respectively I m not sure what she means by video I certainly hope she s not referring to the 90 billion cable television industry or the 20 billion local television industry Porn may be big business but it s smaller thanach of her A New Philosophy of History examples and obviously much smaller than the combined revenue of those industriesOther times she makes inarticulate statements that don t seem to relate to her topic and somehow still gets things wrong here s a funxample where I bet no one Abortion, Choice, and Contemporary Fiction else will call her onIn Manhattan the Private Eyes Gentlemen s Club advertises with sings on top of taxicabs A few years ago the women s faces in such ads simply looked fetching and seductive About a year ago the women began to gaze into the camera with anxpression that was slightly frightened or angry Recently I noticed faintly but unmistakable on a sign for the Private Eyes strip club that on the upper cheekbone of a lovely model advertising the club there was now a single drop Was it a tearI don t particularly care about strip clubs but Private Eyes sits right between the Broadway Dance Center and the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and my apartment It s literally just two buildings down from where I live On the same block there s also several restaurants a homeless shelter luxury condominiums and well it s New York Private Eyes is just a strip club They have a simple logo of drawn COMIC BOOK Lexikon der Medizin-Irrtümer eyes staring over the words privateyes I pass by it FRITZI auf Sylt - ÖLMALEREI - Kunst in Fotobrillant-Druck every day as I walk to work there s no tear there s no anger it s notven a photo Google private Big Little Man eyes nyc and you can see for yourselfAll that said I did uite like her artful descriptions of her own orgasms I could read anntire book of Naomi Wolf describing her post coital seemingly synesthetic joy the singing dancing colors oh Naomi don t stop But unfortunately that s not the book she wrote Instead she plods through topics of science and spirituality with haphazard guesswork doing no justice to any of the very fascinating topics she referencestl dr go find a beautiful lover that thinks you re wonderful and don t read this book. And deeply The Man from Beijing engaging book thatlucidates the ties between a woman's xperience of her vagina and her sense of self; her impulses dreams and courage; and her role in love and in society in completely new and revelatory ways sure to provoke impassioned conversationA brilliant and nuanced synthesis of physiology history and cultural criticism Vagina A New Biography xplores the physical political and spiritual implications of this startling series of new scientific breakthroughs for women and for society as a whole from a writer whose conviction and keen intelligence have propelled her works to the tops of bestseller lists and firmly into the realms of modern classi.
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Naomi Wolf is the author of seven books including the New York Times bestsellers The Beauty Myth The End of America and Give Me Liberty She has toured the world speaking to audiences of all walks of life about gender euality social justice and most recently the defense of liberty in America and internationally She is the cofounder of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership which te